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Oral Cancer

Knowing the signs of oral cancer, helps with early detection

When you think of oral cancer, your first instinct might be to recoil in fear. The idea of cancer growing inside your mouth is understandably alarming. However, with knowledge comes power. With a clear understanding of what makes you more likely to develop oral cancer and some simple precautions you can take to reduce that risk, you can do everything in your power to decrease your chances of oral cancer. Keep reading to learn more about these risks and how you can reduce your risk.

Oral Cancer Symptoms


It’s essential to be aware of the signs and risk factors associated with oral cancer so you can catch it early when it’s easiest to treat successfully. Some of the most common oral cancer symptoms are:  


  1. Mouth Ulcers that never seem to heal: Mouth ulcers are not always caused by cancer, so if you occasionally get one, it may not be a sign of oral cancer. However, if you have consistent mouth ulcers that don’t seem to go away, this can be a sign of oral cancer.


  1. Mouth Pain: While not all mouth pain is a sign of cancer, consistent or recurring mouth pain could be a sign of oral cancer.


  1. Difficulty or pain with chewing or swallowing: Difficulty or pain with chewing and swallowing can be a significant telltale sign of oral cancer.


  1. Numbness or Bleeding inside your mouth: If you experience random and consistent numbness and bleeding inside of your mouth, you should talk to your dentist and see if oral cancer may be the cause.

Oral Cancer Causes and Risk Factors


Oral cancer can be caused by several different factors, many of which can be avoided or reduced through preventive steps. When you understand the causes of oral cancer, it will be easier to keep your mouth healthy.


  1. HPV: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a widespread sexually transmitted infection. HPV is found in the skin and mucous membranes of the body, including the mouth. 


  1. Tobacco and alcohol: Smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol are some of the primary reasons for oral cancer. 


  1. Family history: If several family members have or have had oral cancer, you may be more likely to develop the disease.


  1. Poor oral hygiene: Sometimes, oral cancer can be caused by a lack of oral hygiene, which is why taking good care of your mouth is essential.


  1. Sun exposure: Having too much exposure to the sun can also be a cause when it comes to oral cancers.

Oral Cancer Treatments


Treatments for oral cancer depend on where the cancer is located in your mouth. Your dentist will discuss the most appropriate treatment plan for your individual case. Many patients also choose to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy and surgery to reduce the risk of cancer returning. The best way to protect yourself against oral cancer is to practice good oral health by brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist regularly, and limiting alcohol consumption.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Oral Cancer


Reducing your risk of oral cancer is vital. Since there are no surefire ways to prevent oral cancer, it’s essential to know the risk factors and take steps to reduce your chances of contracting the disease. If you or a loved one is at high risk for oral cancer, it may be helpful to see a dentist or physician regularly to perform screenings. 


Visiting the dentist every six months, can help your dentist screen for oral cancer and ensure that your mouth is cancer free. If you have risk factors for oral cancer, your dentist may recommend visiting even more frequently. 


Oral cancer is a serious issue that affects a large number of people every year. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing the disease. If you notice symptoms of oral cancer, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection is critical when it comes to oral cancer, so don’t let your fears keep you from getting checked out.


Learn more about some possible treatment options with your local Ealing Dental practice. We recommend you book an appointment with our dentist in West Ealing to further discuss, so we can provide expert advice on getting your mouth on track.

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